Getting in Touch
Also, I recently started messing around on Stack Overflow, which is providing a nice avenue for learning.
Posts to the blog have been coming slowly for the past year. This is because my wife gave birth to our first child last August, so caring for my family has been keeping me pretty busy.
I enjoy being in the outdoors and backpacking in particular (although I rarely do go backpacking). Bicycling is a new activity for me, and I believe I have an interest in randonneuring, but right now I am just commuting.
I grew up near Iowa City, Iowa and am still fond of the area. I observe that most people like where they are from, so maybe it is not surprising that I like Iowa. The natural areas near my home there are a big part of my enjoyment of the region. There is a lot of open space and wildlife to enjoy and I feel more “balanced” when I am there, if that makes any sense.
I enjoy working on challenging algorithm and data structure problems and find myself repeatedly drawn to problems represented by an underlying graph. I am interested in working on projects where my work reaches users, and I feel that I fit in well in a role somewhere between research and product development; a role that involves technically challenging problems requiring research, but still delivers quality code to a set of users.
I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in May 2007. I specialized in scientific computing and am particularly interested in algorithm and data structure design and development. My dissertation, titled Efficient Setup Algorithms for Parallel Algebraic Multigrid, focused on parallel coarse grid selection algorithms for algebraic multigrid (AMG) and was conducted under the guidance of my advisors Luke Olson and Paul Saylor.
I earned a M.S. in Computer Science at UIUC in 2004 under the guidance of Paul Saylor. My Masters research was influenced heavily by the work I did in my first summer at the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Shortly after completing my Ph.D., I started a postdoctoral position in the Scientific Computing Center (now the Materials and Computational Science Center) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.
My primary project at NREL was part of a computational systems biology project called “Green Energy: Advancing Bio-hydrogen“. Briefly, the project aims to: (1) construct a comprehensive metabolic model for the hydrogen-producing green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; (2) produce high-performance software for solving problems arising from the rate equations encoded in the model.
In February 2009 I started a position at Microsoft in which I have researched topics in numerical linear algebra and other areas of scientific computing and currently contribute to a math project.
- D. M. Alber. Modifying CLJP to select grid hierarchies with lower operator complexities and better performance. Numer. Linear Algebra Appl., 13:87-104, 2006.
- D. M. Alber and L. N. Olson. Parallel coarse grid selection. Numer. Linear Algebra Appl., 14:611-643, 2007.
- C. Chang, D. Alber, P. Graf, K. Kim, and M. Seibert. Addressing unknown constants and metabolic
network behaviors through petascale computing: understanding H2 production in green algae. J.
Phys.: Conf. Ser., 78 012011, 2007.
- C. H. Chang, P. Graf, D. M. Alber, K. Kim, G. Murray, M. Posewitz, and M. Seibert. Photons, photosynthesis, and high-performance computing: challenges, progress, and promise of modeling metabolism in green algae. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser., 125 012048, 2008.
- D. M. Alber and L. N. Olson. Coarsening invariance and bucket-sorted independent sets for algebraic multigrid. Electron. Trans. Numer. Anal., 37:367-385, 2010.
- M. Lunacek, A. Nag, D. M. Alber, K. Gruchalla, C. H. Chang, and P. A. Graf. Simulation, characterization, and optimization of metabolic models with the High Performance Systems Biology Toolkit. SIAM J. Sci. Comput., 33:3402-3424, 2011.